(seniorjournalism.com Exclusive) Unemployed or employed you have to pay in order to receive services at Mankweng Hospital! This is a message passed to patients at the hospital as they queue to see doctors. The patients who owe the hospital are further told by administration clerks or filing clerks that they have to settle their arrears, or else would be taken to court.
One of the administration clerks said, on condition of anonymity, that the hospital does not have money, so patients should pay money even if it means paying a small amount when they have it to avoid complications. “You have to pay something whether employed or unemployed. If you come to this hospital to see the doctors or whatsoever, you have to contribute “something” even if it means paying 20 rands or else debt collectors will knock on your door.”
When contacted for comment, the Limpopo department of health and social development distanced itself from this practice. Spokesperson Phuti Seloba told senoirjournalism.com that their administration clerks do not collect debts. He said that paying money is not a precondition to consult at a public hospital. Hence, there are assessments conducted to establish whether the person can afford to pay at a hospital. “If this is happening, the people have to contact the department and will how to deal with it,” adding this is not how the department operates.